Articles by: K M Seethi

Spectres of Nuclear ‘MAD’ness : Between Deterrence and Survival

Spectres of Nuclear ‘MAD’ness : Between Deterrence and Survival

With the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in place, is there an optimistic scenario of a nuclear-weapon free world? This might certainly be a difficult but persistently challenging question the world has been grappling with ever since the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were devastated by atomic bombs, way back in 1945. Spectres of nuclear holocaust have[Read More…]

by 09/08/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Sherni and the ‘Hunting Tale’

Sherni and the ‘Hunting Tale’

You would have gone to the forest 100 times, but could spot a tiger only once. But, be rest assured, the tiger would have spotted you 99 times. In the midst of a recent conversation, Malayalam writer and film maker Unni R. asked if I had seen Amit Masurkar’s OTT-released Hindi film Sherni. Unni asked this question in the context[Read More…]

by 30/07/2021 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Federalism and the Indian Nation: Partha Chatterjee at SEW-Lecture

Federalism and the Indian Nation: Partha Chatterjee at SEW-Lecture

Do the vision and policies of the current political dispensation in India foster the most widely accepted principles of federalism and sustain an effective and healthy relationship between the centre and states in India? This has been a major question of debate in the country ever since the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came to power in 2014. Many scholars[Read More…]

by 24/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Voices from the Margins, and Engaging Slave Selves and Narratives  

Voices from the Margins, and Engaging Slave Selves and Narratives  

  “India is fundamentally a hierarchical, violent and inequalitarian society and its image is spreading like a stain when the Dalits and Muslims are being treated on par in terms of the value of their lives with a history of lynching and killing,” says noted historian Prof. Dilip M. Menon, Mellon Chair and Director, Centre for Indian Studies in Africa,[Read More…]

by 21/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Surveillance Capitalism threatens public university in India  

Surveillance Capitalism threatens public university in India  

“The higher education in India is poised for colossal changes with deleterious outcomes under the ‘surveillance capitalism,’” according to G. Arunima, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Director of Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR). She was delivering the Third “Scholars of Eminence Web-Lecture” (SEW-L) organised by the Inter University Centre for Social Science Research and Extension (IUCSSRE), Mahatma Gandhi[Read More…]

by 18/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Prof. Rajan Gurukkal

Does Historiography Transcend Anachronism?

SEW-L Inaugural Address    Can historians avoid anachronism in their narratives of the past? This has been a major question in the debates of/in historiography, and noted historian Prof. Rajan Gurukkal addressed this question in the context of the project of ‘reinventing nation’ in historical writings in a fortnightly “Scholars of Eminence Web-Lectures” (SEW-L) organised by the Inter University Centre[Read More…]

by 17/04/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Why Women get obliterated in Kerala renaissance history?

Why Women get obliterated in Kerala renaissance history?

There has been a proliferation of literature on women, including   women’s history across the world. Yet, women remain mostly invisible or misrepresented in mainstream history. They are either not present at all, or they are portrayed as innately ‘inferior’ and ‘subordinate,’ as perpetual victims of male oppression. This has been a pattern across nations and continents for long. Consequently, the[Read More…]

by 12/04/2021 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Dr. M. Kunhaman

Changing Social Landscape of Tribes in Kerala: Challenges in Tribal Studies

Written by K.M. Seethi & Elizabeth Abraham The social landscape and livelihood options in the tribal habitats in Kerala have changed tremendously in the last several decades. This transformation has its impact on the tribal population and their life-world experiences. This is the theme of the ongoing workshop organised as part of the Engaging Human Ecology Series of the Inter[Read More…]

by 20/02/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Military coup in Myanmar: ‘Garrison State’ back to dismantle democracy?

Military coup in Myanmar: ‘Garrison State’ back to dismantle democracy?

Fears of a military takeover in Myanmar came true in the early hours of 1 February when the powerful army resorted to a series of measures which included detention of the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other senior government leaders, followed by the declaration of a state of emergency in the country. The commander-in-chief of[Read More…]

by 02/02/2021 Comments are Disabled South Asia
COVID: Health experts call for greater vigilance

COVID: Health experts call for greater vigilance

  “Even as the surge in COVID-19 cases has sent ominous signals across districts in Kerala, the state and civil society should have shown utmost vigilance in the direction of containing the pandemic,” says Dr B. Ekbal, Chairman, Kerala State Expert Committee on COVID-19 and member, Kerala State Planning Board. He was speaking at a Web-Colloquium on “COVID Keralam: What[Read More…]

by 28/01/2021 1 comment India
‘Un-Trumping’ America   

‘Un-Trumping’ America   

With Joe Biden’s assumption of office as 46th President of the United States, there are expectations of a ‘liberal internationalist’ foreign policy set to emerge from Washington. However, the new team in the White House knew from the first day in office that this would not have been possible without constant recalibration. Many would have little dispute that Donald Trump[Read More…]

by 23/01/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Secularism under manifold challenges, says Irfan Engineer

Secularism under manifold challenges, says Irfan Engineer

“Secularism in India faces manifold challenges that require multilevel interventions to make it socially relevant and sustainable,” according to Irfan Engineer, noted Human Rights activist and Director, Centre for the Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai. Engineer was speaking on “India’s Tryst with Secularism: Past and Future Challenges” at the Annual memorial Lecture organised by Vakkom Moulavi Memorial and Research[Read More…]

by 29/12/2020 Comments are Disabled India
Poet Sugathakumari: A beacon of eco-aesthetics and empathy

Poet Sugathakumari: A beacon of eco-aesthetics and empathy

  My life is not in vain, my friend, when I sing for you. My song is not in vain, my friend, when you hum along with it. Writing on ecopoetry two decades back, the English writer and scholar Andrew Jonathan Bate said: What are poets for? They are not exactly philosophers, though they often try to explain the world[Read More…]

by 24/12/2020 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Kim Ki-Duk and the Legacy of ‘New Wave’ cinema

Kim Ki-Duk and the Legacy of ‘New Wave’ cinema

In less than a few weeks since the celebrated Argentine filmmaker Fernando Ezequiel Solanas—a legendary figure in Latin American cinema—died of coronavirus in Paris, another internationally admired filmmaker, Kim Ki-Duk, fell prey to the rage of the pandemic in Latvia. The South Korean ‘new wave’ fame Kim was reported to have arrived in the Baltic state a few weeks ago[Read More…]

by 13/12/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature, Life/Philosophy
Many Voices, Still Many Worlds

Many Voices, Still Many Worlds

Writing on the feats and flaws of modern science way back in 1951, humanist writer and literary genius M. Govindan (1919-1989) brought in the story of al-Hameed—a landlord in Hyderabad who, over years, lost interest in agriculture, but developed a penchant for diamond trade. al-Hameed thought he could fetch both fame and fortunes from buying and selling valuable diamonds. He[Read More…]

by 02/12/2020 Comments are Disabled World
Spectre of Jihadi violence in France

Spectre of Jihadi violence in France

The gruesome murder of a French school teacher in a Paris suburb on Friday is yet another pointer to the spirit of Jihadi Islam being conjured up by the young generation to set in a troubling spectre of violence and terror in the name of ‘faith and commitment.’ Sadly—but not surprisingly—Muslim Ulama across the world still remain silent on such[Read More…]

by 19/10/2020 1 comment World
Akkitham: An Exemplar of humanist-aesthetic

Akkitham: An Exemplar of humanist-aesthetic

When once for my fellowmen I shed a drop of tear, The hale of a thousand suns Arises in my soul When once for my fellowmen I expend a hearty smile, A full –blown moon of purest ray Forever floods my heart But all these days I knew it not, This ineffable Joy; And brooding over that heavy loss I[Read More…]

by 15/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature
Why Older Persons Matter Today?

Why Older Persons Matter Today?

“No one should be alone in their old age,” Santiago, the protagonist in Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea reflects in despair. Fisherman Santiago’s sorrows speak volumes about how loneliness is terrible, yet Hemingway sends the message that there are umpteen ways of coping with the sorrows of loneliness. The lesson in the novel is that no one[Read More…]

by 01/10/2020 Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Blasphemy Estate: The ‘Deep State’ and Deepening Fundamentalism in Pakistan

Blasphemy Estate: The ‘Deep State’ and Deepening Fundamentalism in Pakistan

The deep state in Pakistan is no more a mere conglomerate of civil bureaucracy, army, intelligence, and/or other administrative agencies. The ‘state within the state’ has also its predictable partners in religious constituencies across the country. There is a growing concern now if the judiciary is also becoming a partner of the deep state congregation. A few years back, a[Read More…]

by 15/09/2020 Comments are Disabled South Asia
A ‘Testing Time’ for Ageing: Geronticide or Necropolitics?

A ‘Testing Time’ for Ageing: Geronticide or Necropolitics?

With the Covid-19 proliferation taking on a dreadful speed, humanity is in the throes of an unprecedented breakdown. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) seems to have the armoury to legitimate the Darwinian dictum—“Survival of the Fittest.” Even the world’s megatowns and megacities of affluence/abundance have gone bust. The world’s developed as well as the ‘fast growing’ economies and societies have[Read More…]

by 08/04/2020 Comments are Disabled World
Banning violence and harassment in workplace: Agreement at ILO Centenary Conference

Banning violence and harassment in workplace: Agreement at ILO Centenary Conference

A major international agreement banning violence and harassment in the workplace has been adopted by the International Labour Organization’s Centenary Conference in Geneva. This has been hailed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his address at the Conference. Guterres congratulated Member States on  “building upon a legacy of achievement, guided by that age-old vision of social justice through social dialogue[Read More…]

by 24/06/2019 Comments are Disabled World
The Making of Nuclear Disasters: “Chernobyl”

The Making of Nuclear Disasters: “Chernobyl”

 “Chernobyl”—the five-part miniseries—has created sensation across the world, with a record number of viewers.  It was screened on HBO and Sky Atlantic in May-June, and the last episode was on 3 June. It is also available on Hotstar. It is really an amazing experience to spend five hours before the screen (which, in fact, offer a lot of lessons for[Read More…]

by 06/06/2019 Comments are Disabled World
Trumponomics of ‘Smart Trade’:  Unfair Trade Practices vis-à-vis China and India

Trumponomics of ‘Smart Trade’:  Unfair Trade Practices vis-à-vis China and India

Is the world economy poised to enter the phase of what the Dutch trend-watcher Adjiedj Bakas called ‘Slowbalisation’? The trend forecasts say that the world will soon witness another spell of ‘financial crisis’ with Donald Trump unleashing a trade war on emerging economies like China, India etc and with the worsening conditions in European Union. During the past three decades,[Read More…]

by 03/06/2019 1 comment World
Modi 2.0: India under ‘Charismatic Authoritarianism’?  

Modi 2.0: India under ‘Charismatic Authoritarianism’?  

  The ultra-Right BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) resounding victory in the 17th Lok Sabha elections in India has surprised many, even within the NDA alliance because of the unexpected pay-offs emerging from the electoral fray. Many still wonder if ‘anti-incumbency factor’ is any more relevant in electoral calculus in a country of 900 million voters (save southern states like[Read More…]

by 27/05/2019 3 comments India
Strategic Fulcrum in Whirlwind: The Gulf Regimes on a Short Fuse?  

Strategic Fulcrum in Whirlwind: The Gulf Regimes on a Short Fuse?  

The Persian Gulf region has become a veritable powder keg with the United States taking a more aggressive position on Iran, while Saudi Arabia, UAE and other regional powers keep lining up behind Washington with an equally aggressive mood. The unfolding strategic scenario in the Gulf flashes multiple narratives, events and interventions. It all started when the US pulled out[Read More…]

by 17/05/2019 1 comment World
Sri Lanka: Uncertainties Abound! | K.M. Seethi

Sri Lanka: Uncertainties Abound! | K.M. Seethi

Sri Lanka does not seem to have returned to its normal conditions even after six days’ of the Easter-day carnage. Panic still grew and fears of unexpected attacks were haunting people even as warnings come in different forms in the Island. Reports of ‘further attacks’ and ‘reprisals’ have led to alerts that people stay away from public gatherings, including in[Read More…]

by 27/04/2019 Comments are Disabled World
Colombo Carnage: Ominous Signals

Colombo Carnage: Ominous Signals

The day of ‘Resurrection’ became a black Sunday for hundreds in Colombo who gathered in Churches for Easter prayers. Many in nearby hotels, including several foreign nationals, also fell victim to the bomb blasts. As of now, the death toll is reaching 300 and hundreds of people are in serious condition in different hospitals. Reports suggest that the eight bomb[Read More…]

by 22/04/2019 1 comment World
‘Testing Time’ for the Indian Electorate

‘Testing Time’ for the Indian Electorate

Sustaining a democratic system through periodic free and fair elections is one of the most critical political challenges the world has witnessed. Across countries, people have run the risk of their lives to call for free elections, democratic accountability, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Though elections are widely recognised as the indispensable foundation of democracy, there are[Read More…]

by 25/03/2019 1 comment India
Balakot Air Strikes: Diplomatic and Strategic Fallouts

Balakot Air Strikes: Diplomatic and Strategic Fallouts

The air strikes in Balakot, Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, by the Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter jets set in motion waves of jubilation in India and a deluge of anger and war cry in Pakistan. Launched in the early hours of 26 February, the ‘surgical strikes 2.0,’ as it has been characterized by the Indian media, came in less[Read More…]

by 27/02/2019 Comments are Disabled South Asia
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India and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – Threshold Status amid Political Discomforts

For many in the South Block (and several diplomats who served in the West Asia/Gulf region in the past), India’s emergence as ‘Guest of Honour’ at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting of Foreign Ministers, scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi, is a great solace and a ‘mission accomplished.’ Having an observer status in a transcontinental organization of[Read More…]

by 24/02/2019 1 comment World
Unlocking the India-Pakistan Dilemma : Twenty Years of ‘Lahore Declaration’ and Missed Opportunities

Unlocking the India-Pakistan Dilemma : Twenty Years of ‘Lahore Declaration’ and Missed Opportunities

Many treaties and agreements in international relations are the natural outcome of conflicts and wars between two or more players. In India-Pakistan relations too, the two major agreements signed between them, the Tashkent Declaration (1966) and the Shimla Pact (1972) were the follow-up of negotiations started in the wake of the 1965 and 1971 wars. But the Lahore Declaration, signed[Read More…]

by 21/02/2019 1 comment South Asia
Kashmir: Back to Square One?

Kashmir: Back to Square One?

The terror attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir), which killed dozens of soldiers of the paramilitary forces, sent shock waves across the country and the world.  The attack came in a crucial time of political uncertainty in J&K, the forthcoming general elections in India, and the meetings planned in connection with the opening of Kartarpur corridor[Read More…]

by 16/02/2019 1 comment Kashmir
Farewell to INF Treaty: Setting Multilateralization for N-Person’s Game?

Farewell to INF Treaty: Setting Multilateralization for N-Person’s Game?

The Unites States withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty (1987) and the subsequent Russian decision to quit the regime generated considerable fears and anxieties across the world about a renewed nuclear arms race and showdown. The allegations and counter-allegations in respect of the violation of the Treaty by both parties continued for several years and Washington and Moscow[Read More…]

by 05/02/2019 2 comments World
National Awards: Ethics of Conferment and Politics of Selection

National Awards: Ethics of Conferment and Politics of Selection

As expected, the announcement of the national awards for 2019 again brought forth a storm of controversy in India. This time it has drawn special attention due to the fiddly criteria used for selection. However, politics of awards is as old as the constitutional history of India. Saffronisation of awards is also a part of this history of ‘give and[Read More…]

by 27/01/2019 1 comment India
Modi’s Politics of ‘Soft Power’ in times of Hard Realities of the Indian Diaspora

Modi’s Politics of ‘Soft Power’ in times of Hard Realities of the Indian Diaspora

  Even as the general elections are round the corner, the Narendra Modi Government makes it a point to use religion and culture as effective tools to sustain itself in power, beyond 2019. This is done in an orchestrated manner deploying strategies of both ‘soft power’ and ‘hard power’ in the domestic, regional and international settings. The latest in a[Read More…]

by 22/01/2019 1 comment India
‘Hartal Raj’ under the Sangh Hegemony

‘Hartal Raj’ under the Sangh Hegemony

Kerala still appears to have been languished in a self-imposed prison of hartals in spite of all efforts to terminate the snowballing menace of social disruption and public nuisance caused by its reckless ‘declaration.’ It was only recently that nearly three dozen trade organisations got together to declare that 2019 would be a ‘hartal-free year.’ However, 2019 began with the[Read More…]

by 04/01/2019 2 comments India
Vakkom Moulavi

Why Vakkom Moulavi Matters Today?

Problems of Engaging Modernity and the Muslim Reform Movement in Kerala…. This article is written in commemoration of the 145th anniversary (28 December) of Vakkom Moulavi who played a major role in reforming the Muslim community in Kerala. Even as Kerala has been in the midst of resuscitating the ‘cultural capital’ of the early 20th century ‘renaissance’ (a term widely used[Read More…]

by 27/12/2018 2 comments Communal Harmony
Historicizing International Relations Theory:  Robert Cox Remembered

Historicizing International Relations Theory:  Robert Cox Remembered

  The discipline of International Relations (IR) has lost another outstanding scholar—Robert W. Cox (1926-2018)—who made a mark in its intellectual history in the last century, like Samir Amin. Canada-born IR theorist Cox had a long stint at the International Labour Organisation (ILO)—for over two decades—before he started teaching at Columbia University, New York.  He then proceeded to take up[Read More…]

by 02/11/2018 3 comments World
Distress Signals from Colombo

Distress Signals from Colombo

Sri Lanka has landed itself in an unexpected, unprecedented crisis with the President Maithripala Sirisena taking decisions having tricky political implications. Citing differences over a host of issues, Sirisena cast out Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, dismissed the cabinet and suspended Parliament.  President’s extraordinary move to suspend Parliament and appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as new Prime Minister raised many eyebrows in Sri[Read More…]

by 30/10/2018 2 comments South Asia
Strategic Turn-around in India-Russia Relations- South Asia set to witness Arms Build-up

Strategic Turn-around in India-Russia Relations- South Asia set to witness Arms Build-up

   The strategic turn-around in India-Russia relations is all too obvious with New Delhi getting closer to Moscow in recent years.  The joint statement issued after the 19thAnnual Indo-Russian Summit held on 4-5 October 2018 in New Delhi between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi specifically mentioned that “India-Russia cooperation is based on the solid foundations of the[Read More…]

by 13/10/2018 3 comments World
Trumponomics: Is Post-Fordism on Reverse Gear?

Trumponomics: Is Post-Fordism on Reverse Gear?

US President Donald Trump has been speaking with hyperbole, over the last several months, that his ‘trade war’ with China, tough bargains with the European Union as well as the emerging economies (like India) would bring the ‘American glory’ back, besides generating more jobs in his country. More recently, Trump rolled out a red carpet to Apple Inc. and Ford[Read More…]

by 14/09/2018 4 comments World
Bolstering Nepal-China Connectivity: Kathmandu goes beyond a Zero-sum Game in South Asia

Bolstering Nepal-China Connectivity: Kathmandu goes beyond a Zero-sum Game in South Asia

Nepal and China have made a significant step in bilateral relations by finalizing the text of the protocol to the proposed agreement that would help facilitate Nepal to use Chinese sea and land ports for third country trade. This has come as a sequel to the signing of the Transit and Transportation Agreement by Prime Minister K P Oli two[Read More…]

by 09/09/2018 1 comment South Asia
2+2 Dialogue = Withering Away of India’s ‘Strategic Autonomy’?

2+2 Dialogue = Withering Away of India’s ‘Strategic Autonomy’?

The outcome of the 2+2 Dialogue between the Foreign and Defence Ministers of India and the United States held in New Delhi is on expected lines. It is clear from the statements issued by the leaders of the two countries— jointly and in different contexts—that India has been incorporated into the US strategic games in the Indo-Pacific region with attendant[Read More…]

by 06/09/2018 1 comment World
The Bay of Bengal Community in times of Natural Disasters

The Bay of Bengal Community in times of Natural Disasters

  4th BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Summit is being held in Kathmandu on 30-31 August under the theme, ‘Towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region.’  The summit is held at a time when the countries under the grouping, i.e., Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bhutan and Thailand are all[Read More…]

by 30/08/2018 1 comment South Asia
Kerala Flood Disaster: The Continuing Saga of Coastal States’ Insecurity

Kerala Flood Disaster: The Continuing Saga of Coastal States’ Insecurity

The flood disaster that struck the entire state of Kerala following the unprecedented monsoon has raised many questions of survival-in-crisis transcending the traditional paradigm of security. For many years, the coastal States of India—from Gujarat to West Bengal covering more than 7500 kilometers of coastline—have been facing several threats from the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.[Read More…]

by 23/08/2018 3 comments India
Why the Calamity in Kerala is a ‘National Disaster’?

Why the Calamity in Kerala is a ‘National Disaster’?

The south Indian State of Kerala has been going through a calamity of unimaginable proportions following the unexpected turn in monsoon rains which played havoc with the state’s life and livelihood. Floods and landslides were unprecedented. Displacement too witnessed massive rescue operations and relocation. Nearly a million people are directly affected. It may take several months and years to restore[Read More…]

by 19/08/2018 2 comments India
Samir Amin: Intellectual-appropriate to the Global South

Samir Amin: Intellectual-appropriate to the Global South

With the demise of Samir Amin—an indispensable component of the new genre of the Radical Political Economy School of Marxism—the  Global South has lost an important intellectual prime mover of its history. A critique of the capitalist world-system/imperialism, the ultra-right regimes and reactionary forces across the world, Amin had talked and written about strategies of transforming the world through political[Read More…]

by 14/08/2018 1 comment Life/Philosophy
India’s Emerging Role in the Indo-Pacific: Rise of Sub-imperialism?

India’s Emerging Role in the Indo-Pacific: Rise of Sub-imperialism?

Is India sliding itself into the world capitalist centre as a ‘sub-imperialist’ country fulfilling the ‘responsibilities’ of the imperialist core? Going beyond the conventional Leninist conceptualisation, India, an emerging economy with a credo of neoliberal aspirations and militarism, appears to be exercising a particular form of imperialism over its partners in the Global South, by fulfilling the role of a[Read More…]

by 02/08/2018 2 comments Imperialism
Pakistan: Poised for Challenging Political Innings with Imran’s ‘Naya’ Spin

Pakistan: Poised for Challenging Political Innings with Imran’s ‘Naya’ Spin

The state of Pakistan is now poised for a change, as predicted by many in the context of the General Elections held on 25 July. Though Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s victory is not decisive, there is a general feeling that given the lead in the race, PTI under the leadership of Imran Khan will form a government. The provinces will also[Read More…]

by 27/07/2018 2 comments South Asia
From the ‘Promised Land’ to the Land of Betrayals

From the ‘Promised Land’ to the Land of Betrayals

Israel—once Palestine, the holy land of three religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam—has been declared a mono-religious State with “Jewishness” and Hebrew as indispensible part of the cultural-state apparatus of the ultra-right Israeli regime. Having celebrated the 70th year of independence of the State of Israel, Knesset, the legislature of the state, passed the much-feared bill that officially declares Israel as[Read More…]

by 21/07/2018 4 comments World
Shashi Tharoor and Limits to ‘Cultural Securitization’

Shashi Tharoor and Limits to ‘Cultural Securitization’

A reference to ‘Hindu Pakistan’ by Shashi Tharoor, in a speech, sparked off another controversy across the media and political circles. The BJP seized the occasion to launch a rabble-rousing diatribe against Tharoor and the Congress. According to Tharoor, “If they (BJP) are able to win a repeat of their current strength in the Lok Sabha, then frankly our democratic[Read More…]

by 16/07/2018 1 comment India
The Quest for ‘Zone of Peace’ in the Himalayas – Nepal’s Critical Engagements with India and China

The Quest for ‘Zone of Peace’ in the Himalayas – Nepal’s Critical Engagements with India and China

The tiny Himalayan State Nepal continues to be economically vulnerable, primarily because of its geopolitical status as a land-locked country. This is the case with all land-locked countries across the world that do not have direct access to the seas.  As the UN Committee for Development Policy says, these countries’  “ability to competitively trade in goods largely depends on political[Read More…]

by 05/07/2018 1 comment South Asia
A Requiem For UGC

A Requiem For UGC

If the Modi Government’s first year of its rule was marked by the burial of an important institution of national importance—the Planning Commission of India—with the launching of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), its last year in office is likely to witness another interment of a Statutory body of national importance—the University Grants Commission (UGC)—with the notification[Read More…]

by 01/07/2018 2 comments India
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An IR Scholar with Practical Wisdom – Prof K.R. Singh (1932-2018) Remembered  

There are not many International Relations (IR) scholars in India who can make a reasonable claim that their scholarship means many things for the foreign as well as the defence policy decision-makers in the country. K.R. Singh belonged to such a genre of scholarship embedded in a typical Aristotelian notion of Phronetic (practical wisdom) studies. Singh always sought to combine[Read More…]

by 26/06/2018 3 comments Life/Philosophy
Kashmir in a dense cauldron of uncertainty

Kashmir in a dense cauldron of uncertainty

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) politics has once again entered a cycle of uncertainty following BJP’s decision to pull out of the coalition with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) formed three years ago. It eventually led to the resignation of its chief minister Mehbooba Mufti whose decision to join hands with the BJP had, in fact, raised many eyebrows even at[Read More…]

by 20/06/2018 4 comments Kashmir
Unlocking the “Prisoners’ Dilemma” in Korean Peninsula: Between the Rhetoric and Reality

Unlocking the “Prisoners’ Dilemma” in Korean Peninsula: Between the Rhetoric and Reality

The much-awaited Trump-Kim summit finally took place, but ended up in an uncertain platform of rhetoric and ‘great expectations.’ After weeks’ of shifting (and even provocative) statements and comments, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un came down to a ‘level playing’ diplomatic table in Singapore to break the impasse in the Korean Peninsula. Though the long-term pay-off of the summit could[Read More…]

by 13/06/2018 1 comment World
India, Iran and the strategic Implications of the US pull out from the JCPOA

India, Iran and the strategic Implications of the US pull out from the JCPOA

The decision of the Trump administration to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—a major international agreement to address the Iranian nuclear programme—set in motion a wave of reactions across the world. President Trump terminated the US “participation in the JCPOA, as it failed to protect America’s national security interests.” He said that the JCPOA “enriched the[Read More…]

by 03/06/2018 Comments are Disabled World
The ‘Trump Card’ In Korean Peninsula In Times of Uneasy Peace

The ‘Trump Card’ In Korean Peninsula In Times of Uneasy Peace

The US President Donald Trump has done it again. He has withdrawn from his commitment to a planned summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on 12 June. Trump announced this amid reports of North Korea dismantling its nuclear facility in Punggye-ri on Thursday. Trump stated that he had come to this decision following “hostile” statements from[Read More…]

by 24/05/2018 1 comment World
The Global South in ‘Northern-led’ Order/Disorder: Reading the Baku Declaration and the CHOGM 2018 Communiqué

The Global South in ‘Northern-led’ Order/Disorder: Reading the Baku Declaration and the CHOGM 2018 Communiqué

Two of the recent international documents concerning the future of the Global South should attract the attention of the foreign policy observers in India for several reasons.  One is the Baku Declaration of the 18th Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), held in Azerbaijan during 3-6 April 2018.  The other is the Communiqué of the Commonwealth Heads of[Read More…]

by 24/04/2018 1 comment World
Syria in Disarray: Implications of Airstrikes

Syria in Disarray: Implications of Airstrikes

The airstrikes launched by the US, Britain and France in Damascus and nearby areas on Friday night have worsened the already volatile situation in Syria. The ‘precision’ strikes were purported to destroy Bashar Al Assad regime’s alleged chemical weapons capability. The Anglo-French-American attacks were in response to the “chemical weapons attack” in Syria’s Douma.  Curiously, the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team[Read More…]

by 15/04/2018 1 comment Imperialism
Inequitable ‘ToR’ under the Fifteenth Finance Commission—Ominous Signals

Inequitable ‘ToR’ under the Fifteenth Finance Commission—Ominous Signals

  The Fifteenth Finance Commission’s (FFC) Terms of Reference (ToR) have generated a lot of criticism across a wide spectrum of thinking, especially among the South Indian states. The States which have already been affected with the winding up of the Planning Commission, as well as with the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, are up in[Read More…]

by 10/04/2018 Comments are Disabled India
Between The ‘Spiritual’ And Material’ Assemblage Of ‘Violence’ Reading/Viewing S Durga

Between The ‘Spiritual’ And Material’ Assemblage Of ‘Violence’ Reading/Viewing S Durga

If “the brain is the screen, as Deleuze would have us believe, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s third venture, S Durga “both expresses and induces thought, as images at once move us and move in us.” The brain/screen assemblage is, for Deleuze, an event of images in motion, which is to say both that we think in moving images and that moving[Read More…]

by 27/03/2018 1 comment Arts/Literature
“A Critical Insider In Expat Journalism: VM Sathish Remembered”  

“A Critical Insider In Expat Journalism: VM Sathish Remembered”  

The unexpected demise of V.M. Sathish—a veteran Expat-journalist who spent a quarter century of reporting in the GCC countries—has left a deep vacuum in the domain of ‘human interest’ writings in the world of media. Sathish has a reputed track-record in Expat-journalism.  Beginning with the Indian Express  Group of newspapers in Mumbai, he held many positions over the next  two[Read More…]

by 08/02/2018 1 comment Life/Philosophy
Kerala’s Remittance Economy: Impending Crisis

Kerala’s Remittance Economy: Impending Crisis

The ‘insider-outsider’ problematic of diaspora gives every Malayali’s life a degree of tension and uncertainty today. For the six million remittance-dependent population of Kerala, no news from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is comforting. Of late, the distress signals from countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait etc are too many. So are their implications for Kerala. The major documents[Read More…]

by 05/02/2018 7 comments India
Annihilation of ‘Freedom’: Beneath ‘Lotus and Bullets’

Annihilation of ‘Freedom’: Beneath ‘Lotus and Bullets’

  The scenario set in with the outrageous murder of Gauri Lankesh is fraught with unprecedented social costs and perilous political consequences. Gauri today is much more than a journalist for a country of 1.3 billion people. We are made to believe, through an orchestrated propaganda, that the system in place under the leadership of Narendra Modi is not responsible[Read More…]

by 09/09/2017 1 comment India
A Master of ‘Critical Engagements’: John Abraham Remembered

A Master of ‘Critical Engagements’: John Abraham Remembered

  “The anger and the creativity are so closely intertwined with me, and there’s plenty of anger left,” says film maestro Ingmar Bergman. If there was so much anger and creativity intertwined with a person in Kerala’s film world, that  was none other than John Abraham, a master of  ‘Arts’ in every sense, whose  80th birth anniversary falls on 11[Read More…]

by 12/08/2017 2 comments Arts/Literature
Razak Kottakkal

Razak Kottakkal: A Legend of ‘Light And Shadow’

Putting my “camera between the skin of a person and his shirt is the most difficult thing for me,” says Henri Cartier-Bresson, a renowned French humanist photographer. Cartier-Bresson was speaking of his predicament as a photographer while taking a portrait. Cartier-Bresson’s anxiety was apparently about reaching the subject/object as close as possible – an intellectually fascinating but a real time challenge[Read More…]

by 07/04/2017 2 comments Arts/Literature
Tectonic Shift In ‘Congress System’: Debating ‘Leadership’ And Silence On Policy Regime

Tectonic Shift In ‘Congress System’: Debating ‘Leadership’ And Silence On Policy Regime

Way back in the 1960s and 1970s, noted political scientist Rajni Kothari used to characterise the Indian political system as essentially ‘Congress System’ with ‘one party’ exercising its ‘authoritative’ hegemony, depicting the Congress  as the “spokesman of the nation as well as its affirmed agent of criticism and change.”  Kothari even predicted that the Congress would likely to be the[Read More…]

by 18/03/2017 1 comment India
“Muthanga, 19/2” – A Milestone In Land Struggles In Kerala  

“Muthanga, 19/2” – A Milestone In Land Struggles In Kerala  

  Muthanga struggle was a milestone in the Adivasi land struggles in Kerala. Fourteen years have passed since ‘Muthanga’ became a lesson for people’s movements in Kerala. Today, the Adivasi land movement initiated under the Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha (AGMS) is split between two factions, with C.K. Janu, the iconic leader of the Muthanga struggle in the 1990s joining hands[Read More…]

by 19/02/2017 1 comment Annihilate Caste
“Ezra” – A Reincarnation Of ‘Dybbuk’ Movies From The West

“Ezra” – A Reincarnation Of ‘Dybbuk’ Movies From The West

Our ‘sensibility’ is not surely an objective-aesthetic experience in terms of understanding, appreciating and even critiquing any art, literature, film etc. But it sometimes demands some ‘common’ sense in, at least, viewing a film. Exorcism is no novel experience in the history of world films. Like stories interwoven around myths and fantasies, devils and evil spirits continue to be a[Read More…]

by 13/02/2017 1 comment Arts/Literature
Enough Is ‘Not’ Enough: Is Kerala Poised For Social Darwinism?  

Enough Is ‘Not’ Enough: Is Kerala Poised For Social Darwinism?  

The row over the appointment of Harvard Professor,  Gita Gopinath, as Economic Advisor to the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, has thrown open an ideological foray within the left camp. The veteran leader V S Achuthanandan had written to the CPI (M) central leadership expressing his concern over her appointment. In his letter to[Read More…]

by 31/07/2016 4 comments India
Still Across The ‘Line of Control’ And The ‘Unfinished Innings’ in Kashmir

Still Across The ‘Line of Control’ And The ‘Unfinished Innings’ in Kashmir

  Several days have gone by since the BJP President Amit Shah blew up a political bombshell on Kashmir. While speaking at a function in the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) in New Delhi, Shah accused Jawaharlal Nehru of having committed a ‘historic blunder’ on Kashmir.  Referring to the declaration of ‘ceasefire’ when the Pakistan-backed tribal raiders in 1948[Read More…]

by 21/07/2016 Comments are Disabled Kashmir
Social Facts In An ‘Off-Day Game”

Social Facts In An ‘Off-Day Game”

It is more often a rare experience to be a part of a ‘critical insider’ while being with a movie. Politics is also very rarely seen in the ‘foreground’ in the ‘making’ of a movie – the most widely visible practice is to place it in the ‘background.’ What politically goes in between these spaces (background and foreground) is also[Read More…]

by 19/06/2016 Comments are Disabled Arts/Literature